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Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries
Luxardo Maraschio Cherries
Ingredients:

1 pound cherries, stems removed and pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup water
1 cup Luxardo Maraschino liqueur

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
Stir to blend the seeds into the sugar.
Add the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, lemon juice, and water.

Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the cherries and bring to a simmer again.
Cook the cherries at a simmer for about 5 minutes, until they are slightly softened.  Remove from the heat and stir in the Luxardo liqueur.
Allow the cherries to cool completely.

Transfer the cherries and their liquid to clean jars, cover, and refrigerate for 2 weeks.

The cherries can also be canned using the water bath canning method http://www.simplycanning.com/water-bath-canning.html and the jars stored in a cool, dark pantry.
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This recipe for Homemade Luxardo Maraschino Cherries is the perfect gift.  You will get maraschino cherries, perfectly preserved, with a rounded, brandied flavor.  It's an authentic taste and texture far from the jarred cherries found on supermarket shelves.  These little gourmet cherries will make a big difference in every cocktail they touch.  They are a  delicious way to complete a Manhattan or other drink calling for a maraschino cherry. They are also delicious spooned over angel food cake, pound cake, ice cream or cheesecake.  To make these, you need maraschino liqueur. It's a traditional Italian liqueur made from sour mascara cherries and their pits. You'll find it's not very sweet and a little bitter.   The most famous brand, also considered the best tasting, is Luxardo,  Luxardo also makes a very expensive jar of maraschino cherries that you can buy at gourmet stores; with this recipe, you can make your own for much less.
ITALIAN LIQUEURS, COCKTAILS, AND OTHER DRINKS  >  LUXARDO MARASCHINO CHERRIES
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Pit up to 6 cherries in a single motion with this unique cherry pitter.  Your counters and hands stay mess-free with the removable base that catches pits and juice.